RIM relying on apps to drive BlackBerry device sales

Research In Motion co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie maintain they are confident the firm will hold its ground despite declining stock prices and analyst concerns that rival manufacturers will threaten the BlackBerry platform's dominance in the North American smartphone race. RIM's leaders tell Reuters that software depth, breadth and integration will drive future device sales, noting the potential that lies in applications blending data and services from multiple sources. "The world has shifted to smartphones faster than I expected, really," Balsillie said.

At its BlackBerry Developer Conference 2009 event earlier this month, RIM announced a series of forthcoming enhancements including a new services platform enabling developers to integrate mobile advertising efforts, payment options, geo-location awareness and push services for alerts and content updates. RIM added it plans to open some core APIs to enable Messenger and media player integration as well.

In early 2010, RIM also plans to introduce a new WebKit-based browser capable of full HTML rendering. The new browser follows on the heels of RIM's August acquisition of WebKit solutions developer Torch Mobile, creator of the Iris web browser for mobile and embedded devices. During the Reuters interview, Lazaridis owned up to consumer criticisms of the current BlackBerry browser: "I would not sit here and say to you that we've never made mistakes," he said. "We've plenty of mistakes. But we've learned from them and we recovered well."

For more on RIM's outlook:
- read this Reuters article

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